Voyager 2 reaches interstellar space

Nature Astronomy Don Gurnett, Bill Kurth University of Iowa Voyager 1 has a companion in the realm of the stars. Researchers at the University of Iowa report that the spacecraft Voyager 2 has entered the interstellar medium (ISM), the region of space outside the bubble-shaped boundary produced by wind streaming outward from the sun. Voyager … Read more

60 years of shock wave research at Sandia National Laboratories

Mary Ann Sweeney 61st Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics Sandia National Laboratories Sandia National Laboratories physicists Mark Boslough and Dave Crawford predicted the Hubble Space Telescope would see a rising vapor plume as the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet crashed into the far side of Jupiter (Figure 1) in 1994. And … Read more

First direct seismic measurements of mars reveal a geologically active planet

The first reports of seismic activity and ground vibrations on Mars are in. The red planet has a moderate level of seismic activity, intermediate between Earth and the Moon. An international team that includes University of Maryland geologists released preliminary results from the InSight mission, which landed a probe on Mars on November 26, 2018. … Read more

LOFAR pioneers new way to study exoplanet environments

Using the Dutch-led Low Frequency Array (LOFAR)​ ​radio telescope, astronomers have discovered unusual radio waves coming from the nearby red dwarf star GJ1151. The radio waves bear the tell-tale signature of aurorae caused by an interaction between a star and its planet. The radio emission from a star-planet interaction has been predicted for over thirty-years … Read more

SwRI models hint at longer timescale for Mars formation

The early solar system was a chaotic place, with evidence indicating that Mars was likely struck by planetesimals, small protoplanets up to 1,200 miles in diameter, early in its history. Southwest Research Institute scientists modeled the mixing of materials associated with these impacts, revealing that the Red Planet may have formed over a longer timescale … Read more

Astronomical spectroscopy with unmatched precision

In the hunt for Earth-like exoplanets – Earth analogues in distant solar systems – astronomers rely on highest precision spectrographs in order to detect the minute Doppler shift in the spectrum of their host stars. The shift is caused by the reflex motion of the star around the common center of mass in the planet-star-system … Read more

Extreme-energy accelerators in extragalactic outer space

Several billion light years from our Galaxy, blazars are relentlessly accelerating particles to extreme energies. What do we know about these extreme sources of radiation? A team of ten researchers from France (Paris Observatory, IN2P3), Germany (ESO, DESY, University of Munich) and Italy (ASI, INAF) coordinated by Jonathan Biteau (IJC Lab, University Paris-Saclay, CNRS) and … Read more